Day 49 in our garden

As suggested in Day 48 this is about getting photos of the Blue Tits using flash. I had tried full power flash but the birds were even more blurred than when using 1/1000s shutter. Canon don’t publish figures for flash duration, the flash gun manual was no help, so I went on t’internet and found that at full power the flash lasts for around 1/500s. Using 1/250s shutter and 1/500s flash therefore had more motion blur than 1/1000s without the flash, but it does allow a small aperture for decent depth of field and low ISO for less noise. A compromise was needed.

There seemed to be several “charts” for flash duration and the numbers varied quite a bit due to variation in what level of brightness you start timing. It takes a finite amount to ramp the brightness up and down but one chart that seemed reasonable quoted 1/4 power as 1/3000s so I set my flash gun to 1/4 power. And here is a selection of the results.

I still had to use 1/250s shutter speed for the flash sync but I could use a smallish aperture. The small aperture gave me a good range of distance that was in focus (depth of field) but at that exposure it meant that the ambient light was also playing a significant part, especially in those where the camera is pointing out into the rest of the garden where it was bright. This resulted in the flash “freezing” the bird at a particular place but the foliage in line with the bird was also photographed as part of the longer “normal” exposure. Therefore in some of the photos the bird was a bit ghost like; the foliage could be seen through it. The ones that I have included here are not too bad though.

The ones where the camera is pointing into the shaded areas show the bird nicely but it makes the shot quite stark and a bit unreal. I could try blurring backgrounds, lightening or darkening selected areas but I would probably not be happy with the results. They wouldn’t look real. At least with the un-doctored photos they might not look real but I know why that is.

Here’s Day 48 in our garden.

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